Friday, 23 September 2011

Martin 5-16 Terz Guitar - vintage short-scale acoustic from 1962
On first sighting I thought that this diminutive Martin 5-16 from 1962 was a parlour guitar, but apparently it is a Terz guitar. Seeing as the seller refers to the "low E" string and the strings pictured on the guitar are obviously a heavy set, I suspect that this example doesn't use the correct Terz guitar tuning.

The Terz guitar, popular in the 19th Century, is a short scale guitar pitched at a minor third higher than a regular guitar, giving it a clear tone that carries well. Originally, Terz guitars were unlikely to have been used as solo instruments, rather they were a component in ensembles and guitar duos, etc. The Italian composer Mauro Giuliani, guitar virtuoso of the early 1900s, composed extensively for the Terz guitar as a compliment to the prime guitar.

This Martin 5-16 is in stunning "time capsule" condition for an instrument nearly 50 years old and is currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $2,750.

G L Wilson

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